A day after retiring from a storied career in rugby league on the field, Greg Inglis started one Tuesday on the sidelines as an assistant coach.
South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Inglis ended a 15-year career in the National Rugby League on Monday, almost two years before his planned retirement date. He had been battling a serious shoulder problem and hadn't played since the second week of the new NRL season.
"What a career," the 32-year-old Inglis said. "I've been contemplating it for a while now. I've come to terms with it."
Inglis retired after playing 263 NRL games, including five championship grand finals and winning one premiership with the Rabbitohs in 2014.
He also won two grand finals with the Melbourne Storm in 2007 and 2009, however both titles were stripped due to salary cap infractions. He also played 39 test matches for Australia and 32 State of Origin games for Queensland.
Inglis will continue to work with the club in a variety of roles, but assisting head coach Wayne Bennett will be at the top of the list.
On Tuesday, many of the South Sydney players returned to training admitted they were shocked by Inglis' decision to retire, but pleased that he would stay on in a coaching capacity.
"He will be a massive asset because he has obviously just left the game, so he understands what players are thinking at the moment and how the game is on the field," hooker Damien Cook told Australian Associated Press. "Sometimes coaches might not get that understanding. That's probably where he can be that connection between the players and the coaches and have a different point of view."
South Sydney officials confirmed Inglis walked away from $1 million left on his contract.
But Inglis had no doubts it was time to hang up his playing boots.
"I just think it's time and the right decision for myself," Inglis said.
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